Macklin Motors owner takes orders for 1,500 cars despite showroom closures

Vertu Motors, the car dealership group that trades as Macklin Motors in Scotland, has built up an order bank of more than 1,500 vehicles despite its showrooms being shut due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Chief executive Robert Forrester said sales showrooms would reopen when restrictions are lifted with a phased return of colleagues from furlough. Picture: Marc Schlossman

In a trading update, the group said its on-line and telephone sales operations have continued during the crisis. Since 25 March, it has attracted orders comprising 825 retail cars and 749 fleet and commercial vehicles.

“These firm orders and the order bank from previous months, as yet undelivered, will be delivered to customers once the government’s restrictions on showroom operations are lifted,” the firm added.

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Vertu, which has a network of 133 sales outlets across the UK, noted that internet sales enquiries for April were about 37 per cent of last year’s levels and boosted by a TV marketing campaign that highlighted digital options available for customers.

The group said 98 of its dealership aftersales operations were reopened in late March and have been providing “vital service and repair services to key workers, vehicles undertaking essential activities and vulnerable customers who rely on their cars”.

Chief executive Robert Forrester said sales showrooms would reopen when restrictions are lifted with a phased return of colleagues from furlough likely to be adopted to “balance resource levels and opportunity”.

Vertu highlighted its “supportive relationships” with banking partners Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland.

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